SUPPORT FOR CHILDCARE PROVIDERS
“The ongoing sustainability of the childcare sector is of paramount importance to the Scottish Government.”
A series of announcements have been made by both the UK and Scottish Governments regarding support for businesses of all sizes facing disruption. The Scottish Government is looking carefully at which of these measures are relevant to the childcare sector, recognising that it is a varied sector with a large number of small businesses, social enterprises, third sector organisations and self-employed workers.
The Scottish Government continues to work closely with the UK Government to ensure any support benefits all businesses, including Scottish businesses, and complements existing Scottish Government interventions.
Covid-19 helplines to support businesses were launched on 13 March and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline. This augments the Scottish Government’s Business Support website, which is the best way for business to find the information they need and can be found at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/.
There are a number of concerns about the coverage of Covid-19 in standard insurance policies. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered for business interruption, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.
The Scottish Government are working closely with the UK Government to establish a clearer position on insurance.
What’s next for ELC in Scotland?
The Scottish Government cannot confirm at this stage how long the closure of schools and nurseries will be in place for. It should not be assumed that they will open again after the Easter holidays. The Scottish Government has confirmed that officials from their Early Learning and Childcare Directorate will maintain an ongoing dialogue with private and third sector representative bodies throughout the closure period, to ensure the sector is sighted on all developments and further sources of support and information.